Wow! Last night’s game was just awesome! Speed, Grit, Attack (one of our last blog’s) was on full display and it certainly did not disappoint. As an organization built around a fascination for movement, this game was especially exciting for us which means we can’t pass up this opportunity to dive into the nitty-gritty of what made different players so successful last night!
Before we dive in, here are some abbreviations of movement patterns you will see throughout the article. Don’t worry if these terms seem foreign to you, it’s more about watching how the players move. If the technical jargon interests you, hop on the ice with us sometime and you will see what it’s all about!
BWC - Backwards Crossovers
QC - Quick Crossovers
CP - Crosby Platform
FLS - Forward Linear Stride
IE - Inside Edge
2FG - Two Foot Glide
2FS - Two Foot Stop
2FP - Two Foot Pivot
TP - Toe Pushes
A few takeaways...
Both teams are for real. Vegas got the start they needed with a great short side bomb by Sault native Colin Miller (BWC to left IE Shave).
Washington rallied back with a great tripod backhand redirect goal by Connolly which started with Burakovski (CP to QC).
Then they went ahead…This is key and a great sign from Washington. Vegas had never trailed at home in these playoffs.
That play was started by the crafty Orlov (2FS to IE Swivel) and kept alive (check out the keeping plays alive blog a while ago) by Oshie (CP to QC to FLS) and Backstrom finished it off (2FG) with his backhand double tap toe shot with elevation, elite patience and skill.
But Vegas answered back with William Karlsson (2FS to BWC to Skinner) with backhand to forehand elevation that actually banked off Holtby. Another great pattern.
Vegas struck first again in the second with a tenacious goal from Riley Smith (LFS 2FS to Swivel) forehand shot again with elevation. Hint: Blog coming up on elevation, and no not the cool U2 tune.
The seesaw continued. Who saw this T.J. Oshie dish in 2FG with sick trunk rotation! And how about that Carlson pattern while coming off the bench (LFS to 2FP to IE Hold to 2FG)?
He then absorbed the puck (key skill) and had backhand elevation to beat a sprawling Fleury. Punch to punch. These teams are resilient. Nice to see.
Another lead change. I thought Washington was going to win after Wilson’s gritty go to the net re-direct goal, (APS to IE Spin).
It looked like it was their night. Then came Vegas 4th line and a goal by big man Ryan Reaves (CP to LFS to CP to 2FS to Swivel), key skill is the push off to create space and then a shot of the pass with elevation (yes, again, we know), tie game. Good teams answer but the great teams push after they answer and Vegas just kept rolling. 4th line again.
Nosek with the knee down shot off the pass and you guessed it, elevation.
Theodore was the set-up man (Shuffle to IE Cut) and made an awesome through the triangle pass across the ice and the records books we’re re-written for the most lead changes in a Stanley Cup Final game! Vegas pushed and then they continued to show their gritty makeup while defending the late 1:51 second 6 on 5 at the end of the game. Washington is so dangerous with a man up. Here comes Nosek again (TP to LFS to Block to QC to LFS to QC to CP to 2FG) and put it into the empty net, a 6-4 Vegas win.
Again, don’t worry too much about the info in the parentheses. That’s our thing, our speciality our expertise. But man, does it sure shed some light on how to create offence in today’s new NHL and why these two teams are the last one’s standing. Last night’s game was movement pattern perfection and as a result changed history. Amazing.
Kids, Jr. players, college athletes, pros, get around a coach that studies movement patterns! Even better get around a coach who can assess asymmetry production within those patterns and prescribe correctives to increase performance. Even better get around a coach who can layer in skills, context and concepts to transfer to games. And create offense. Heck just create. Even better, just play and take your game to the highest levels of joy for which it was created.
So, rubber meets the road. Understand patterns. Create. Play. From kids to pros, every single player I’ve been blessed to train, this has always put a smile on their face.
And mine too!